Santorini is the glowing pendant of Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea it seems. So, last but not least, I am off on the Paros Jet to check out what this island is all about.

Five hours 45 minutes later, I am on this crescent-shaped island, being driven to the Anemomylos Suites.

This comfortable, family-run traditional apartment is just a few meters from the central square of Fira, the capital of the island.

During the 16th century, this island was devastated by a volcanic eruption and hence, the rugged, breathtaking  landscape. And like the other islands, this one too, is designed with whitewashed cubi-form houses with its trademark blue trimmings, that cling to cliffs above the underwater caldera (crater). And unlike the other islands, this one is far more crowded, noisier and more expensive.

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I’m island hopping again and back at the harbor waiting to board the Naxos Jet (a ferry) to Paros.

I have opted for Paros for two reasons; to give one travel companion a chance to bathe in the sea and to experience a less visited island. Approximately three hours later, we disembark in this tiny island and are immediately caught up in the island’s vibe.

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Greece is mostly inspired by mythology and I love it! It romanticizes history and adds a sense of wonderment to a traveler like me.

We get to the Delos harbour on this beautiful morning and settle down for a quick breakfast before departure.

Just about 20 minutes (by ferry) from Mykonos is a small island called Delos. We are dropped off and left to explore this 5km UNESCO Heritage Site.

It’s brown and barren. But look closely and it’s an open museum to the revival of the glory of Greek civilization.

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It’s 6 a.m. in Athens and the Piraeus Harbor is buzzing with tourists. Some bewildered, dragging luggage, searching for jetties and boats with romantic sounding names, but there is sense of adventure and excitement.

Our “ferry” (mid-sized cruise ship), Nissos Mykonos arrives at 7:10 am, and a huge gangplank is slowly dropped down from the aft of the ferry. There is a scramble to board and I soon realize why. These ferries only dock for less than 7-10 minutes!

Two hours and ten minutes later, I am in Mykonos, one of the more popular Cyclades islands. And in the midst of the teeming crowds I see the affable Anna waving her arms to attract our attention.

Anna is the proprietary owner of the Diogenis Hotel, a cute studio apartment complex that reminds me so much of the vibe in the movie Mama Mia!

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My train gets into Bari, the port city of Italy’s southern region of Puglia located on the Adriatic Sea. It’s late evening and I’m glad to be picked up by friends who then drive me to their rented apartment in Monopoli.

Monopoli is a charming, quiet town about 40 kms southeast of Bari and is best known for its Baroque Monopoli Cathedral also known as the Basilica of the Madonna della Madia or Santa Maria della Madia. This imposing cathedral was erected near the site of a Roman temple and burial site and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

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